The Unthinkable Has Become Thinkable
- Monday, March 22, 2004
Furthermore, we must recognize with Schaeffer that this is the way things play out when performed upon a humanistic stage that views man (or, more precisely, self) as the lead character—the measure of all things, the center of it all—and casts God (if He even exists) in a subordinate role. In much of this discussion, God has been relegated to the periphery and man has taken His place. This practice is reflected in the quip “God created man in His image, and ever since man has returned the favor.” A humanistic approach to morality suffers from the “immaculate perception” that says, “My ways are always right and everything else must fit.”
This approach has the effect (whether admitted or not) of viewing God’s standards of morality to be the equivalent of a wax nose—capable of being shaped according to the whim of the shaper. “Wax nose” morality renders God’s moral pronouncements to be temporary and optional. In all of this, God’s authority is questioned (“Has God said?”4), and therefore, what God has declared about righteous behavior may make for nice history (for other people!) and perhaps exhibit keen insights from which we may glean some guidance, but is, according to this new (im-)morality, archaic and repressive. We are witnessing what happens when God’s absolute, authoritative standard is removed or redefined. Sliding into some kind of “new morality,” some kind of the unthinkable, and doing it without a jolt becomes easy.
Homosexuality ...Consistent With the Bible?
As noted above, however, this clamor for the acceptability of homosexuality, which is heard even in the church, is not without a stated authoritative base. The people making this claim appeal to the Bible and assert that a homosexual lifestyle is perfectly compatible with its teaching.
The same-sex controversy is, at its core, a controversy over the authority and interpretation of the Bible. Throughout the history of the church, and revealed in the historical understanding of Scripture,5 homosexuality has been seen as contrary to the morality set forth in the pages of the Bible. Today, however, we are being told that the moral opposition to homosexuality, based in and upon Scripture, is actually a rather recent phenomenon. We are being “informed” that the Bible nowhere condemns homosexuality as it is predominantly known and practiced today and that, as a matter of fact, a lifestyle of committed homosexuality is consistent with biblical morality.
Ironically, this makes for a remarkable case of selectivity in submitting to biblical authority. What we are observing is, on one hand, a mocking rejection of much of the teaching of the Older Testament and, on the other hand, a claim that the Bible endorses homosexuality. It is not uncommon to hear ridiculing murmurs about many things in the Bible, including the authority and observance of the Sabbath, dietary and cleanliness (or purification) laws, legislation regarding slavery, the death penalty, the sacrificial system, and the priesthood, just to name a few. Yet these criticisms are uttered with the same breath that exclaims with incredulity, “Why do you quote the Bible regarding homosexuality but ignore these other matters?”
While suspicious of the Older Testament’s laws and practices, the proponents of the acceptability of homosexuality in the church will wax on with great deference and approval about the passages that speak of close personal relationships between members of the same sex (Jonathan and David or Ruth and Naomi, for example).6 They claim these as examples of beautiful homosexual relationships worthy of emulation. Supposedly, we are not to follow the Bible in some areas (deemed irrelevant or inconvenient), but we are to follow its lead in other places. Selectivity indeed.
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